Well then, in summary, we’ve defined the
lymphatic system, talked about it. It’s
part of the circulatory system that brings
back interstitial fluid – tissue fluid – that
escapes from the capillaries and also, occasionally,
brings up cell debris and bacteria.
It has a very important defence component,
particularly defined as the lymph nodes that
are producing lymphocytes, the spleen, the
thymus, the Peyer’s patches in the intestine,
a variety of areas of focal production of
lymphocytes that help defend us against invasion
We’ve talked about the vessel system, starting
with very fine vessels gradually increasing
in complexity until, as ducts, they drain
the lymph back in to the venous system so
that it maintains the volume of the blood.
We talked a bit about malformations which
are quite rare but almost always taken care
of during infancy.
We’ve talked about the edema that forms
sometimes from surgical interventions, such
as radical mastectomy for breast cancer or
as the result of medical diseases – severe
liver failure, for example, from cirrhosis
or severe heart failure.
And we’ve talked about destruction of the
lymph vessels by parasites or by an immunological
system that then results in massive edema